It’s often hard to keep up with a demanding life and still find time to work out. You may be wondering what will happen if you stop doing regular workouts. This is a common question.
Unfortunately, there are negative consequences to not exercising anymore. So the answer, more accurately, becomes a matter of what you’ll be giving up if you stop exercising.
Before you quit the gym or stop working out at home, think about these effects:
1. Loss of lean muscle mass.
If you miss one workout, you probably won’t notice the difference in your muscles. However if you miss several weeks or months of workouts, then the muscles will be affected.
- You can lose lean muscle mass by skipping regular workouts on a long-term basis. If you don’t use your muscles, you can lose them.
- Once your body reaches a certain level of lean muscle mass, it can’t maintain it without more exercise.
2. Possible weight gain.
You know that exercise can help manage your weight, so stopping it can cause unpleasant surprises on the scale.
- The weight gain may appear if you don’t adjust your calories and meals. If you continue to eat the same amount as before, your body will store the extra calories since you’re not burning them.
- To prevent this, pay attention to how much food you eat and make adjustments if you can’t work out.
3. Decreased endurance.
Your body’s endurance in both strength and aerobics will go down. You may have a harder time cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, gardening with flowers, or doing other tasks.
- Eventually, even walking or going up the stairs can become hard.
4. Brain function is affected in a negative way.
Exercise helps increase the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain. Without it, you may have a harder time thinking clearly. You may not remember things as well or concentrate as easily.
- If your brain gets used to a certain amount of oxygen and blood, you may notice the difference.
5. Trouble sleeping.
Without regular exercise, you may have more trouble sleeping because of a variety of reasons:
- Many people use exercise to relieve stress and anxiety. However, if you stop doing regular workouts, you may end up staying up late at night and worrying.
- Another thing to consider is that exercise can help promote sleep. If you’re tired after a long day at the gym, then you’re more likely to fall asleep faster at home.
- Research shows that exercise can help fight restless leg syndrome, which keeps many people up at night and affects sleep.
- Studies also show exercise can also lessen sleep apnea for some patients, because this condition is associated with greater weight.
Exercise is essential, but it’s not easy to do it every day. Try to find ways you can incorporate fitness into your daily routines.
Otherwise, you’ll notice a variety of issues ranging from the loss of muscles to weight gain. If you can’t exercise every day, try to do it as often as possible throughout the week.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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